Andrés Escobar: Life beyond bullets in 30 unseen pictures
The unfortunate life of Andrés Escobar in unseen pictures.
Nicknamed “El Caballero del Fútbol” (“The Gentleman of Football”) Andrés Escobar Saldarriaga was a center back in the the 1989 Copa Libertadores champion club Atlético Nacional of Colombia. He represented the national team in 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cup and 1989 and 1991 Copa América.
“We are all working for a common cause – to make our country proud,” he said, upon arriving in the USA for 1994 World Cup. “We’re trying to not focus on the violence. I find motivation in the good things to come. I try to read a bit of the Bible each day. My bookmarks are two photos. One of my late mother, the other of my fiancée.”
Escobar’s infamous own goal against the United States in 1994 World Cup is still vivid in our memory. Andrés, who was under radar of A.C. Milan and dubbed by many as successor of great Franco Baresi, stretched to cut out the pass from American midfielder John Harkes but mistimed the slide and deflected the ball into his own net.
Few years later Escobar’s sister, María revealed in an interview, “In that moment, my nine-year-old son turned to me and said: ‘Mommy, they’re going to kill Andrés. I replied: ‘No sweetheart, people are not killed for mistakes.’ Everyone in Colombia loves Andrés.” Unfortunately, the reality turned out to be different.
“This sport illustrates the close relationship between life and the game. In football, unlike bullfighting, there is no death. In football no one dies; no one gets killed. It’s more about the fun of it, about enjoying.” Andres Escobar once said these words to Colombian journalist Gonzalo Medina to explain why he enjoyed playing football. Unfortunately, football took his life. Today, on his 23rd death anniversary, we at Goalden Times are remembering Escobar. “Life doesn’t end here”!
Photographs: The photographs are not owned by Goalden Times and we do not claim ownership of these images by any means. All the images are sole property of the respective owners. We are thankful to FIFA, El Heraldo, El Tiempo, Colombia AS.